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CureCoin – The First Six Months

Use your CPUs & GPUs to Fold Proteins for Stanford's Folding@Home program, earning CureCoins.

For those who may not be aware, CureCoin is one of the world’s first crypto-currencies that rewards volunteers for donating their idle§ personal computer time to Medical Research including: Pandemic Influenza, Alzheimer’s and Cancer. Putting aside debates over CureCoin’s scalability, "centralization vs. decentralization", and "philanthropy vs. monetization", one cannot escape the scientific triumphs as well as some interesting socio-economic injustices CureCoin 1.0 illuminated over that last six months:

CureCoin Valuation:

For every CureCoin ($0.01 US 10/20/14), it costs* $0.15 US to run the underlying Folding@Home Medical Research Software ††(that’s over 12x the current valuation to a break-even point). This gives the Biotechs, Big Pharma, University Consortiums, and Humanityan EXCELLENT return on investment (in the form of an NIH grant-subsidised Distributed Computing Network (DCN)). However, it’s not such a windfall for the DCN participants, whose costs of equipment, electricity and time maintaining computer systems does not even qualify for a simple tax write-off under the US tax code. Note, the majority of donors in the F@H DCN participate purely philanthropically, recouping 0% of their actual costs.

Despite unrealistically low valuations, in six short months, the CureCoin Team 224497 has****managed to move into the #5 ranking on Folding@Home(while maintaining the #1 folding processing speed rank), able to process Molecular Simulations at a rate five times faster than any team ever has prior (including corporate-sponsored teams like Hewlett Packard & Google). Many other teams have been running the medical research software for 14 years. CureCoin proves the idea that monetized DCN participation can generate more scientific research data, in less time, than any other recent incentive by a factor of 28 !!! (6 months vs. 14 years).

CureCoins Security:

CureCoin has pioneered a Certificate Based, Proof-of-Work (PoW) Blockchain Model which has now survived a 6 month production burn-in – without a hiccup. Proof-of-Stake (PoS) is provided by a Peercoin minting model, ensuring CureCoin is protected against the well-known 51% attack.

Since the DCN (F@H) layer has it’s own independent reward system (the currency network keeps its cryptographic security, while the underlying scientific data does NOT bloat the blockchain), the work unit validation is done by the scientific work-providing network (currently F@H). The beauty of a separate GPU/CPU computation pool is that more pools can be created for future scientific projects. The DCN project(s) handle any invalidscientific data using some downright impressive protection against exploits(F@H has a 14 year legacy of learning to squash exploit attempts). Work Units provided by F@H servers have built-in data error correction to eliminate the need for redundant Work Units being sent to multiple participants (and wasting electricity). Any user submitting corrupt files (instead of valid scientific data) are simply quarantined, and faulty Work Unit points are not awarded to them. Repeated exploit attempts eventually block the user’s account all-together.

CureCoins Intrinsic Value:***

CureCoin 1.0 allows owners of both GPU/CPU and ASIC hardware to generate a revenue stream (split ~80% GPU / 20% ASIC). The GPUs/CPUs process the actual scientific Work Units – which ONLY they can perform. Meanwhile ASICs are put to work at what they do best – securing the blockchain. Thus the Proof-of-Work for the underlying scientific research is supported by a secure blockchain.

While CureCoin isn’t technically ‘backed’ by scientific research (there’s no central authority you can visit to trade coins for scientific research data) the coin has intrinsic value as both a currency and as a system of purchasing a tradeable representation of medical research data. Similar to the idea of carbon offsets, investors can purchase CureCoins representing a proportional amount of scientific/medical research, while those who wish to use a little technical know-how can contribute to the DCN (F@H in this case), getting involved in the hands-on work to generate revenue. With time, the amount of research data generated by the CureCoin network increases exponentially due to competition, and the amount of research each individual coin represents grows exponentially due to block-halving in the face of increasing computational power.

CureCoin Quote 3

If you are going to invest in a crypto-currency, CureCoin is a great choice, as it has more intrinsic value than the vast majority of alternate currencies based on its pseudo-backing (support) from computational scientific research. CureCoin allows you to generate revenue by supporting life-saving computational research for Universities, Institutes and ultimately for YOU!

Note: The development of CureCoin 2.0 continues to advance. For further reading on CureCoin 2.0, please consult Vorksholk’s blog page:


  • * Using conservative Amazon EC2** Spot Instance pricing with Big-Advanced Unit jobs as a benchmark §§. Using Reserved EC2 instances could increase the cost multiplier to >30x the current valuation.
  • Hash Rate (PPD): 330000
  • CureCoins per day:52
  • Dollars earned per day: $0.65
  • Exchange Rate 10-19-2014 (BTC to CURE): .0000325 †
  • Exchange Rate 10-19-2014 (USD to CURE): $0.0125
  • Cost per day EC2 SPOT** (at $0.31 /hr) : $7.44 /day
  • (Using US-WEST OREGON Region – Lowest cost due to local Hydro-Power)
  • ** Using Amazon EC2 C3.8XLarge instance as the example, due to it’s rock-solid quantifiability, compared to the variable costs and efficiencies of individual’s GPU systems. While individual GPU folding can cost as little as $0.07 per Curecoin in power consumption using the latest nVidia hardware, this figure however does not reflect ROI on equipment.
  • *** This document is informational, and for educational purposes. Digital currency is a new science, and is highly experimental, and subject to speculation, making valuations difficult to predict.
  • § Due to the competitive nature of CureCoin, “idle computer time” is anything BUT idle!
  • §§ Big Advanced Work Units are scheduled to expire Jan 31, 2015. Their example was only used for emphasis on cost.
  • † source
  • †† Folding@Home (F@H) is not affiliated with CureCoin, and is the property of Pande Labs and Stanford University.


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